Marlins bust out of slump, dismantle Braves to even series
ATLANTA (AP) — Perhaps Dee Gordon was the culprit, but nobody in the Marlins’ clubhouse would say for sure who spread bats around the floor before the game.
Whatever the intention, Giancarlo Stanton liked what he saw from Miami’s offense.
"At least we can keep it loose here," he said. "We’re not coming in here like our dog died."
Stanton broke out of a slump with three hits and four RBIs, Gordon and Ichiro Suzuki each scored two runs and the Marlins beat the Atlanta Braves 8-2 Tuesday night.
Stanton, who signed a record 13-year, $325 million contract in November, began the game hitting just .130 with three RBIs in 23 at-bats. But he was dialed in against the Braves (6-2).
It marked the fourth time that he’s reached five times safely in the same game and marked the first time since last April that he didn’t record an out in at least five plate appearances.
"We got a win, so that’s the biggest part," Stanton said after ending a 0-for-12 slump. "Contributing to that is good for us and we need a series tomorrow."
Tom Koehler (1-1) gave up six hits, two runs and two walks with three strikeouts in 5 1-3 innings for the win.
The Marlins went up 3-0 in the first on Stanton’s RBI single, Martin Prado’s sacrifice fly and Michael Morse’s RBI double. Stanton also walked twice and scored two runs in the game.
It was just the fourth multi-run inning for Miami (2-6) in eight games this year.
A few of the Marlins said that Gordon might have been behind the pre-game bat display, but the leadoff hitter wouldn’t say.
"Whoever did that was pretty smart," Gordon said, adding that it was impressive to see the team produce 11 hits. "It was awesome, man. Guys came out swinging."
Trevor Cahill (0-1), making his first start for Atlanta and 171st of his career, allowed five hits, four runs and three walks with two strikeouts in 2 1-3 innings in the loss.
Cahill began the night having allowed three hits, one RBI and three walks with three strikeouts in the 10 times he’d faced Stanton.
"It seems like over the years that he’s changed his approach against me," Cahill said. "I feel like early on he would chase, and he was real patient today. I was trying to get ahead in the first inning and I left it middle-up. I think I was fortunate he didn’t hit it farther."
Cahill’s struggles continued in the third. He hit Morse with a pitch to load the bases and was chased after Marcell Ozuna walked to make it 4-0.
Sugar Ray Marimon, the fourth Atlanta reliever to make his majors debut this year, bailed out Cahill, but the Braves were trailing 5-0 in the fourth after Stanton’s RBI single.
In the bottom of the inning, Freddie Freeman and A.J. Pierzynski hit back-to-back home runs to cut the lead to 5-2.
The Marlins made it 6-2 in the sixth on Gordon’s sacrifice fly. Gordon has reached safely in seven of eight games and is hitting .364. He had two hits and two stolen bases.
Stanton added a two-run double in the eighth off Andrew McKirahan to make it 8-2.
Marlins: LF Christian Yelich was scratched from the lineup because of tightness in his back. Suzuki took his place, going 1 for 4 with a walk and scored two runs. Yelich, a Gold Glove winner last year, has been getting treatment recently for his back and is listed as day to day.
Braves: Manager Fredi Gonzalez had no update on starting LHP Mike Minor, who’s on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation and has yet to throw again off a mound since aggravating the injury.
Marlins: RHP Dan Haren (0-0) makes his second start of the season after allowing four hits, one run and striking out two Friday against Tampa Bay. Haren is 6-2 with a 4.50 ERA in nine starts and a relief appearance against Atlanta.
Braves: LHP Eric Stults (0-0) has a 5.29 ERA and is 2-3 in seven games, including six starts, against Miami.